This week we trained for sea ice rescue and spent evenings, and most mornings, admiring the sunrise and sunsets over the icebergs.

Staying alive

With the sea ice forming it was time for Mawson station to do some training that everyone was looking forward to, ‘Stay Alive Raft Training Day'.

The ‘Stay Alive’ is a platform that can be used to conduct over-ice rescues when the ice is thin or patchy, and there is a possibility that the rescuer may fall through. It is a big floating plastic raft with a paddle and an ice pick so you can paddle or drag the raft to someone who has fallen in, pick them up and then get pulled back to shore.

All on station walked down to the shore in front of the workshop, most of us liberally applying sun cream because it was another spectacular day at the premier station in Antarctica.

Our Field Training Officer, Tony, had established a base with the search and rescue Hägglunds oversnow vehicle, lots of harnesses, throw ropes and the raft. Six brave souls went to get dry suits on while the rest of us tried to figure out how to open the raft and make it stable. 

After a safety briefing, Josh headed off onto the ice pushing the raft with the rest of us watching from on-shore. The ice proved nice and thick, not even a crack, which was sort of a disappointment because we wanted someone to get wet and need rescuing. Instead, Chris walked out and had a little ‘snooze’ on the ice while Gav went and rescued him.

We had a fun afternoon in the snow and on the ice learning some new skills, and figuring out how to use the rescue raft. 


This week we have been treated to amazing auroras almost every night and, as the days are getting shorter, the sunsets and sunrises have been amazing.

This sunset was accidently shot while watching a trio of emperor penguins that paid us a visit.

We really are lucky to experience this place.